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DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION

SUSPENDED LICENSE FOR DWI

If you have a suspended license as the result of a DWI conviction, contact a DWI lawyer right away. If your license has not yet been suspended, your DWI lawyer may be able to avoid suspension altogether. However, if your license has already been suspended, you may be able to obtain limited driving privileges or other reduced consequences. Call Swate Attorney at Law for a free consultation.

LOSING YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE CARD

When you were arrested for DWI in Texas, your driver’s CARD was probably taken. Your actual LICENSE was not taken at that time. What’s the difference? Your license is permission to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. My law license is permission to practice law in Texas courts. Your card is the representation of that permission, or license. If you do not appeal the suspended license within 15 days of your arrest, your license will be suspended in Austin at the expiration of 40 days.

SUSPENDED LICENSE PROCESS

You may have some confusion about your suspended license, and the process can be complex. So, here’s the skeleton of the license process:
  1. Arrest and seizure of card.
  2. Formal request of appeal to Austin within 15 days. (There is a required way to do this!)
  3. File for discovery of officer’s reports to Austin.
  4. Subpoena the officer to the hearing, which will be scheduled by Austin.
  5. Attend the hearing in person, not by telephone.
  6. Proper facts and proper preparation should result in saving your license from suspension.

SUSPENDED LICENSE FOR CHEMICAL TEST REFUSAL

In Texas, if you obtain a driver’s license and drive on state roadways, you have agreed to take a chemical test if there was a valid arrest for DUI. This is the implied consent law of Texas. But just because you have agreed to take a chemical test does not mean that you have to. You can still refuse. If you do, though, you will face repercussions, such as a suspended license. If you refuse a blood, breath, or urine test after a DUI arrest, you may face an automatic suspended license. An experienced DWI lawyer can help you challenge that suspension.

WHEN WILL MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED?

If law enforcement arrests you for a DUI, then you may receive a Notice of Suspension. Your suspended license will begin 40 days after your Notice of Suspension was issued. Often, you will receive the Notice of Suspension at the time of your arrest, or when your BAC level tested over .08 percent or you refused a chemical test. However, if you submitted to a blood test, you may not receive your Notice of Suspension until they report the results of that test. If you have questions about exactly when your suspended license will go into effect, speak with a DWI lawyer. You do not want to be caught driving with a suspended license and incur additional consequences.

REQUESTING AN ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE REVOCATION HEARING

After you receive a Notice of Suspension, you have 15 days to request a hearing in order to challenge your suspended license. If you do not request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing within the provided amount of time, your license will be automatically suspended 40 days after you received your Notice of Suspension. A DWI lawyer can file your request for an ALR hearing on your behalf. Although you can represent yourself at an ALR hearing, it’s important to remember that this is an adversarial hearing. The state will have an attorney on its side to present evidence against you. It’s best to work with a DWI lawyer who understands the ALR hearing procedures, relevant laws, and your rights.

WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ALR HEARING?

It may take 30 to 60 days to schedule your ALR hearing, and your hearing may not take place for up to 120 days. The State Office of Administrative Hearings will conduct the hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). An ALJ is somewhat different than a criminal judge, but they still have the power to make final decisions on your case. During the ALR hearing, your DWI lawyer and a lawyer for the State will discuss your suspended license. Both sides will present evidence and make arguments. Your attorney will fight to keep the court ALJ from suspending your license. After the hearing, the ALJ will mail you an order with their decision. ALJ decisions are appealable.

HOW LONG WILL MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED?

If your suspended license is the result if a first DWI conviction, then your license suspension may last for 90 days. If you have had one or more DWIs in the past 10 years, then your license suspension could last for up to one year. Additional DWIs can result in additional suspension. If you refused a chemical test for the first time, your license suspension may last for 180 days. If you have refused a chemical test one or more times in the past 10 years, your license suspension may last for up to two years. The amount of time of your license suspension depends on a variety of factors, including how many prior situations you’ve had involving alcohol or drugs while driving. When dealing with this situation, you should work with a DWI lawyer who can help you avoid a suspended license and maintain your ability to drive.

OBTAINING AN OCCUPATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE AFTER A DWI

Although your license may be under suspension for a certain amount of time, you may be able to get an occupational driver’s license that will allow you to drive to work and other necessary places. However, you must first serve a mandatory waiting period called a “hard suspension.” You cannot get out of a hard suspension, as they are mandatory periods during which someone who has failed a chemical test or refused one cannot drive. Once you are out of the hard suspension period, you may petition to obtain an occupational driver’s license. A DWI lawyer can help you seek an occupational driver’s license.

IT’S BEST TO WORTH WITH THE SAME ATTORNEY FOR BOTH YOUR CRIMINAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE CASES

When face charges for a DWI, you will face two separate cases – one criminal cases and one administrative case regarding your driver’s license. Your criminal case will take place through your county criminal court system. However, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will handle the administrative license case. It’s best to work with one attorney for both DWI cases. You will only have to pay one DWI lawyer to learn the facts of your case. You will have to have an attorney attend hearings separately, but that attorney should be aware of the happenings in both cases in order to best represent you.

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